The Actors

Dixon Phillips - John

Desiree Rogers - Emily

Leigh Rondon-Davis - Jenny

Nick Trengove - Billy

The Creative Team

James Ard - Sound Designer

Courtney Carson - Lighting Designer

Marisely Cortés - Costume Designer

Natalie Greene - Intimacy Choreographer

Liora Jacob - Assistant Stage Manager

Rachel Mogan - Stage Manager

Malcolm Rodgers - Scenic Designer

Mary Ann Rodgers - Director

Brittany Watkins - Props Designer

The Sponsors

Season Sponsors


Craig & Kathy Moody

Don Kaufman & Carol Amyx

Chard Nelson & Jan Berman

Show Sponsors

Susan Taylor & Bob Fabry

Richard & Kate West

Tamara White

About the Play

Adam Bock’s meticulously crafted script follows Emily Bridges, a woman used to running all things — from her construction business to her family — until she suddenly begins experiencing mysterious changes. As her world shifts, her relationships transform in poignant and revelatory ways.

A Small Fire explores the ways in which illness deepens and strengthens one family’s bonds. Director Mary Ann Rodgers discusses the play’s meaning for her, saying, “The play asks so many questions: What's essential? What will sustain you when what you believe to be essential is taken away? So many of us have undergone transitions these past couple of years, loss of work, health, loved ones, a sense of stability. What gives you hope? How do you know you can endure or begin again?”

On discussing what inspired the play, Adam Bock points to his own father’s stroke and the questions that arose as a result. “What happens when your body betrays you. What happens to the people around you? What happens to the balance of power?” The play contains an element of magical realism, something the playwright calls, “the physicalization of metaphor.” Adam Bock created a female character of a certain age “who isn’t accommodating to others around her,” a concept he finds “radical.” He elaborates, “I know women are not accommodating, but the representations of women are.” In a challenge to this stereotypical portrayal, the playwright has created a strong, complicated, and flawed woman in advanced middle age.

Watch an Interview with Playwright Adam Bock & Director Mary Ann Rodgers

Conversation with Adam Bock and Mary Ann Rodgers

Either click on the above photo to watch the trailer, or head over to YouTube!

Adam Bock
Mary Ann Rodgers
Adam Bock in The Bacchae

About Adam Bock

Adam Bock is a playwright best known for A Small Fire, The Receptionist, The Drunken City, The Thugs, and Swimming in the Shallows. He writes both comedy and drama, blending whimsical surrealism with dark and painful exploration of character. Charles Isherwood described A Small Fire as “a theatrical combo plate that proves unusually satisfying ... raucous, funny and unexpectedly touching.” Adam has had more than ten plays produced at prestigious theaters including Manhattan Theatre Club, Playwrights Horizons, Soho Rep., Second Stage Uptown, Rattlestick, and Yale Rep. He has received the Obie Award, BATCC Award, Clauder Prize, Glickman Award, and Guernsey Award, and been nominated for the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards. Adam has been a resident playwright at New Dramatists and an artistic associate at Shotgun Players and Encore Theater.

About Mary Ann Rodgers

Mary Ann Rodgers is a native San Franciscan, director, and actor. Other credits include Symmetry Theater (bilingual Native Gardens by Karen Zacarías in San Miguel de Allende, MX), SPARC Theater (Associate Artist), Ross Valley Players, Contra Costa Civic Theater, Utopia Theater Project, ShotzSF, and more.

Adam Bock & Shotgun Players

Adam Bock and Shotgun Players share a long relationship, including productions of Swimming in the Shallows (1999), A Fairy’s Tale (2002), The Shaker Chair (2007), Phaedra (2011), and now A Small Fire. Shotgun Players even coaxed the playwright onto the stage for Euripides’ The Bacchae in 1999.